A proposed law that’s making its way through the European Union’s legislative bodies has both players and studios worried that a wave of oppressive censorship might be on the way for video games (never mind other publishers, bloggers, and internet users!).
The law in question is called the Copyright Directive, which is being designed to protect (obviously) copyrights. The problem is that there are multiple provisions that are “vaguely worded and ripe for abuse,” including one that would make it a law to check everything uploaded online for possible copyright infringement.
Online games such as Second Life and Roblox that rely heavily on player-created and -uploaded material are at risk for possible censorship from an automated filter that will most likely not be up to the task.
“This is a boon for griefers,” predicts author Cory Doctorow. “Since the rule has no penalties for abuse, griefers could claim copyright over public domain works, works that others had created, etc, and block other players from using them — you could upload every military insignia, the logo of a rival clan, etc.”